India’s military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress were displayed during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Rajpath in New Delhi yesterday.
Representing the country’s strides in indigenous defence technologies, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) contingent this year consisted of two tableaux depicting among others Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Take off from INS Vikramaditya.
The Indian army displayed its main battle Tank T-90 Bhishma, infantry combat vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP-II) – Sarath, the mobile autonomous launcher of the Brahmos missile system, the Pinaka multi-launcher rocket system and the Samvijay electronic warfare system among others.
The marching contingents of the army included the Jat Regiment, the Garhwal Regiment, the Mahar Regiment, the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment, the Bengal Sappers and the Territorial Army.
The Indian navy contingent comprised 96 sailors and four officers led by lieutenant commander Lalit Kumar as contingent commander.
The Indian Air Force showcased the Mi-17 V5, Chinook and Apache helicopters and the newly-inducted fighter aircraft.
The Air Force contingent, comprising 96 airmen and four officers, was led by flight lieutenant Tanik Sharma.
It was followed by the air force tableau titled ‘Indian Air Force: Touch the Sky with Glory’.
The air force tableau showcased scaled down models of light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter, Su-30 MK-I aircraft and Rohini radar against a sky-blue background. The smartly attired officers in their flying overalls stood alongside the models.
Thirty-two tableau – 17 from states and union territories, nine from various ministries, departments and paramilitary forces and six from the defence ministry, depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess rolled down the Rajpath.
School children performed folk arts and crafts.
The 122-member proud contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force lead the contingent march on the Rajpath.
The grand event culminated with Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900 kilometre per hour carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’.
Meanwhile, despite the boycott call by several banned extremist outfits, Republic Day was celebrated in Manipur in a befitting manner with Governor Najma Heptulla hoisting the national flag at Kangla Fort in Imphal and taking salute from 49 contingents.
According to senior police officials, security was tightened across the state after the Coordination Committee (CorCom) of six major militant outfits called an 18-hour shutdown in the entire state from January 25 midnight to 6pm on January 26.
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